HTC 10: what we want to see
Update: A new leak suggests the HTC One M10 will actually be called the HTC 10 and come with a 3000mAh battery and Super LCD 5 screen technology.
The HTC One M9 is beautiful, powerful and (whisper it) just a little bit disappointing. With a downgraded battery, a middling camera and an overly familiar design and feature set it couldn't continue HTC's run of five-star reviews.
It's clear that HTC needs to do some soul-searching before it launches the HTC 10. We want it to come back with a bang, much like Samsung did this year with the Galaxy S6. Plus, with the recent launch of the Galaxy S7 and LG G5, there's even more pressure on the Taiwanese firm to get it right.
Let's keep our fingers crossed these changes will be good. We don't have to wait to find out about all of them, of course, as we've scoured through all the rumors and leaks to find out everything that sounds accurate. Here's everything we know about the HTC 10 so far.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? HTC's next flagship smartphone
- When is it out? Likely in April, with speculation on April 19
- What will it cost? You're looking at a top of the range price
HTC 10 release date
The HTC 10 launch date is overwhelming thought to be happening sometime in April, with the latest date floating around being Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
That comes from leaked renders of the phone, which include this specific date on the home screen. Even if this slip-up means anything, it doesn't confirm whether it's the launch event date or release date.
It's just another indication that the HTC 10 is coming soon, and for good reason. the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 headlined MWC 2016 in Barcelona at the end of February, and HTC needs to play catch up.
The latest rumors suggest that HTC is going to ditch "One" naming convention for its next smartphone, and simply dub it the "HTC 10." This goes with the teaser the company sent to press reading, "Power of 10." We could be in for some big changes that reflect the new name.
HTC 10 rivals
There's lots of competition for the HTC 10. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 have just launched, meaning there's already a tough fight waiting for the M10.
Then there's the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus to compete with, not to mention the looming presence of the iPhone 7 in September. It's a tough market right now, let's just hope the HTC One M10 can hold up its own against it all.
HTC 10 design and specs
We are expecting the HTC 10 to be quite a different phone. HTC's CEO revealed that the company plans to make significant improvements to the innovation and design of its 2016 flagship.
HTC has sent us an official teaser of what could very well be the HTC 10. It seems to feature chamfered edges that will definitely give it a distinguished look.
What we may get is a marriage of the company's HTC One M9 and iPhone-like HTC One A9 designs for the HTC 10. The first leaks of the new smartphone suggest just that.
It retains the metal body and slightly curved back of the M9 design, but adds the home button - likely with a fingerprint sensor - that mirrors the A9, according to both blurry photos and renders.
Rumors say HTC 10 will be slightly bigger and more pixel-dense than either of its predecessors. It's been tipped to use a 5.15-inch quad HD display, not the 5-inch 1080p screen we've seen from HTC before.
The latest leak suggests the screen will use Super LCD 5 display rather than AMOLED technology.
The fingerprint-enabled home button looks like it will take away the front-firing stereo speakers we loved about the HTC One M9, but this phone appears to be future-proofed in another way: a USB-C port.
A render leak from @evleaks shows a single rear camera sensor, and what appears to be a fingerprint scanner below the screen on the front. Plus, according to this particular leak the HTC 10 will also be available in four colors.
It's unclear what form its camera and other innovation will take, but we have heard that several prototypes have been rejected, forcing a delay in the launch, which could be a sign that HTC wants to get it perfect.
Inside, it's supposed to have latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that's also in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5. In fact, it's also likely to have 4GB of RAM and an identical Adreno 530 GPU.
The photo below of the HTC 10 has also appeared on Disqus showing off what the phone will look like from the front and the back. The screen bezels look slightly slimmer than on the HTC One M9 and it looks about the right size to be a 5.2-inch display.
We've also heard that the HTC One M10 could be waterproof, while another rumor is that the handset will support wireless charging. That's not hugely surprising as wireless charging is growing in popularity, but it's a feature which the One M9 doesn't have.
It's also a feature which could prove a challenge to incorporate without a change to the design, as metal cases don't tend to work well for it.
Other spec rumors include a 3000mAh battery, up from 2840mAh and a fingerprint scanner built into the home button.
HTC 10 camera
One rumor at the start of the HTC 10 hype suggested it would include a 23MP camera, up from 20MP on the HTC One M9.
Since then a HTC executive has confirmed the One M10 will have a big focus on the camera.
Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang said, "We can confidently say that HTC will have a very, very compelling camera experience. We're making this comment after we've seen what's going on in the market."
As for the rest of the HTC 10, we don't really know all that much else yet.
Rumors are pretty few and far between suggesting, as has now been rumored, that the One M10 may actually launch later in the year. It didn't appear at Mobile World Congress, so it's likely it may be ready for a separate launch from HTC.
What we want to see
1. Better battery life
Sadly the M9's battery is a step down from the HTC One M8's, though it's not clear why, as the power pack is actually bigger, the screen is the same and while the processor is faster it's meant to be efficient.
Whatever the reason though it just doesn't cut it so it's absolutely essential that this is improved for the HTC One M10. We want to comfortably get at least two days of life from our phones and in this day and age that shouldn't be unreasonable.
While we're on, QuickCharge 2.0 is nice, but it would be even nicer if next year HTC put a QuickCharge enabled charger in the box.
2. A superior camera
For all its attempts HTC failed to entirely convince people that UltraPixels are the way forward in smartphone photography, finally admitting defeat and ditching them from the rear camera in the One M9.
But that may have been a mistake, especially as they were replaced with an unexceptional 20MP Sony lens.
A better option might have been a middle ground, upping the megapixel count from 4 to 8, but continuing to use larger UltraPixels. That way it could have stayed speedy and adept in low light, while packing in more detail than the M8's camera.
3. A new design
This one might be controversial, as the One M9 is one of the best looking phones around. The problem is we can't really see where HTC can go next with it. The company has spent the last few years perfecting its design and with the M9 it's arguably achieved that.
So next year we'll either get basically the same thing again, which would be safe but boring, or we'll get something new and different.
We have faith that HTC didn't just get lucky with the HTC One and that it can impress us all over again with a new design, so we hope that in the HTC One M10 we'll see one.
With the introduction of the One A9, HTC has already teased us with a new design direction - even if it is suspiciously iPhone-like - and we're hoping to see a fusion between the A9 and M9 on the HTC One M10.
4. A fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanners are becoming increasingly common on our smartphones. Samsung has a top notch digit reader on its Galaxy S6 line of handsets, as does Apple on the more recent iPhones, Sony's side-mounted offering falls nicely under thumb, and Huawei and Google have bolted them to the rear of the Mate S, Mate 8, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.
With Android Marshmallow now offering built-in support for fingerprint scanners too, there's even more reason for the One M10 to sport the technology.
HTC is clearly interested in the technology, putting scanners on variants like the HTC One M9 Plus and the HTC One Max, but we want to see one on the HTC One M10. Only if it's good though, a half-baked fingerprint scanner is worse than no fingerprint scanner.
5. A 1080p screen
The HTC One M9 has a 1080 x 1920 screen. As does the HTC One M8, as does the original HTC One. So you might think it's due an upgrade, especially as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 both have QHD displays.
But at 5.0 inches (which by the way is an ideal size in our humble opinion) the benefits of a QHD screen are negligible while the hit on battery life could be substantial.
If HTC can somehow make a QHD screen that's just as light on the battery as a 1080p one then go for it, but if not we hope the company sticks with 1080p in the M10, rather than bowing to pressure from the competition.
If HTC continues to go heavy on the metal then making the One M10 waterproof might be a challenge, but we'd love to see it happen (along with dust proofing). It's a handy feature to have not so much because you're likely to actually want to take the phone swimming but just for the peace of mind it gives you.
It could also help HTC steal some Samsung fans, given that the Galaxy S6 ditched both water resistance and a microSD card slot. The One M9 already supports microSD cards, so keep that and add water resistance to the M10 and it's got some serious selling points.
7. Better BoomSound
The One M9 already has some of the best speakers around but there's always room for improvement. The dual front-facing BoomSound speakers are one of the standout features of HTC's phones and to keep standing out they need to keep getting better.
So we hope the HTC One M10 delivers even louder, richer sound through its built in cans than the M9 does.
8. More revolution than evolution
The HTC One M9 didn't feel like a huge improvement over the HTC One M8. It had a refined design, upgraded hardware and a new camera sure, but it largely looked and felt like the same phone and was distinctly lacking in killer new features.
HTC can't afford to do that again with the HTC One M10. We want new, we want different and we want to be excited, just like we were when the original HTC One was unveiled.
9. A redesigned power button
If HTC doesn't redesign the whole phone we hope it will at least redesign the power button on the HTC One M10.
On the M9 it's on the right edge next to the volume buttons, which makes it easy to reach, but it's also roughly the same size and shape as the volume buttons, making it easy to hit the wrong thing if you're not looking.
HTC knows it's a problem too, as it's ensured the power/lock and volume keys on the One A9 feel very different under finger. It's a small issue, but one which you'll be dealing with a lot, so we hope the fix makes it to HTC One M10 as well.
10. More storage
The HTC One M9 comes in one size and one size only: 32GB. If you're going to launch a phone in just one storage size that's probably the one to choose, as it's a balance between the prohibitively small 16GB and the likely-expensive 64GB, but it would be nice to have the option for more built in storage.
There is a microSD card slot, but storing things on memory cards can negatively impact performance, so just having more storage built in might be a preferable option.
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